I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
Firstly a discussion on BBC News about the origin of the 99. I don't want to spoil it for you but there are no conclusive answers. Fun reading though. UK ice cream trade organisation The Ice Cream Alliance (imagine their conferences!) has some Fantastic Frozen Facts (see Info for Ice Cream Eaters) - "Ice Cream Sundaes were created when it became illegal to sell ice cream with flavoured soda on a Sunday in the American town of Evanston during the late 19th century. Some traders got round it by serving it with syrup instead, calling it an 'Ice Cream Sunday' and eventually replacing the final 'y' with an 'e' to avoid upsetting religious leaders". More on ice cream's secret history at Wikipedia - "One important development in the 20th century was the introduction of softer ice cream. A chemical research team in Britain (of which a young Margaret Thatcher was a member) discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream, which allowed manufacturers to use less of the actual ingredients, thereby saving money." That bloody woman. Also, an explanation of brain freeze, or ice cream headache. Ooch. Find out about the history of the ice cream trade at London's Canal Museum. This Much I Know by Wayne Vineer Ice Cream Man. For fans of the regional ice cream variation, read up on the Top Hat, invented by the Zavaroni's of Rothesay. Finally, if you haven't sickened yourself by now, check out the Ice Cream and Ice Cream Van pools on Flickr.